Gal Gadot in a scene from "Wonder Woman." AP
Wonder Woman 1984" pulled in $36.1 million at worldwide theatres over the Christmas holiday weekend and boosted streaming viewership on HBO Max, Warner Bros. said on Sunday as it confirmed plans for a third film in the superhero franchise.
Despite premiering simultaneously by streaming service, "Wonder Woman 1984” managed the best box office debut of the pandemic, opening with $16.7 million of the box office total that came from US and Canadian theatres, the AT&T Inc-owned studio said on Sunday.
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That ranked as the highest domestic opening since the COVID pandemic shuttered theaters in March, though the numbers were a fraction of usual receipts for a big-budget action flick. The 2017 "Wonder Woman" film opened with $103.2 million domestically, according to Reuters.
Millions watched the film on HBO Max, the company said in a statement, but it did not specify how long they tuned in. Total viewing hours on the platform tripled on Friday compared with a typical day in the previous month, the statement said.
The movie "exceeded our expectations across all of our key viewing and subscriber metrics in its first 24 hours on the service," said Andy Forsell, executive vice president and general manager of WarnerMedia Direct-to-Consumer.
Warner Bros. said it would accelerate development of a third "Wonder Woman" movie also written and directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot as the lasso-wielding warrior. The studio did not announce a release date.
Warner Bros. has announced the same hybrid release strategy for its 17 theatrical movies in 2021, sparking a backlash from some top Hollywood directors and cinema operators, who hope for a rebound after COVID-19 vaccinations increase.
Through Sunday, 2020 domestic box office receipts totalled $2.3 billion, down 80 per cent from a year earlier, according to Comscore.
Disney's new release "Frozen 2" iced out competitors to top North American box offices over the weekend, taking in an estimated $127 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said Sunday.
The force is clearly still with the galactic good guys, as "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" opened with a massive estimated take of $175.5 million in North America, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Sunday.
"Terminator: Dark Fate" opened atop the North American box office this weekend with a take of $29 million, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said, but analysts said that figure fell far below expectations.
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